Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tofu Stir Fry

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we get more and more limited on free time.  We also get stressed about how we are going to stay thin and prevent holiday gluttony from making us gain 100 pounds.  In honor of holiday preparation, my sister and I decided to commit ourselves to eating healthy until the holiday season hits us with temptations we won't be able to resist (then it will be time to hit the gym!).  This healthy, simple stir fry is the perfect dish to have on hand as the holiday madness approaches. It is vegetarian, so you can save your meat points for Turkey Day and loaded with healthy veggies.  It has an amazing flavor profile, so you won't be tempted to reach for the pumpkin pie, even a day early.

It is really easy to make a stir fry healthy.  They already have tons of vegetables so there is no need to up the anti there.  However, we need to cut the excess oil, high sodium and upgrade the noodles or rice.  To do this, use a flavored oil, like sesame so you won't need to use extra for flavor.  Use a low sodium soy sauce to cut back on the high salt content and substitute whole grain pastas for whatever noodle you are using and brown rice for white rice.  Traditionally, we see whole grain pasta being used for Italian dishes, but they work just as great in Asian dishes- you just dress them up in a different outfit!

Tofu with Bok Choy and Carrots

1 package organic extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic, mined
1 carrot, julienned (medium)
1 bunch of bok choy, cleaned
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger
5 oz. whole wheat linguine (about 1/2 box)
Sesame seeds to finish

Rinse the tofu in water, pat to dry and cube into 1/2 inch pieces.  Spray a pan with cooking spray and heat to medium.  Cook the tofu until it is crisp and lightly browned on all sides.  Set aside.

In a pot, bring water to a roaring boil.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt.  Cook the past until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

In a separate pan, heat the sesame oil to medium. Add the minced garlic and saute.  Add the carrots, ginger, soy sauce and mix.  Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the boy choy.  Mix and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes until the boy choy is tender.  Add the tofu and continue to cook until well mixed.  Toss in pasta to coat in sauce.  Add an additional drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce if needed.  Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds to finish.

What makes this bite better?
Making your own stir fry at home is a great way to know how much oil and sodium are being added.  You can never be sure of this information when you order in (but you can safely assume it's a much higher quantity and the ingredients are much lower quality).  Also, even though some places now offer brown rice options, I have yet to see a whole wheat offering as substitute for lo mein or chow fun. You can feel good about eating this upgraded stir fry!

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